Written to R.Coots’ prompt. Some bodily injury, but no serious violence and no real loss of consent.
Ravi wasn’t exactly running, but he was hurrying. He had someplace to be. He really had to get there soon, or he was going to lose yet another blind date to his own stupidi-
The crack in the sidewalk grabbed his foot and sent him sprawling. Last pair of nice pants – ruined. Palms of his hands – ruined. Face – banged. Chances at this date – gone.
“Oh, shit. Look at you.”
He didn’t recognize the voice, but there were hands on him, lifting him up. “Come on. You’re an absolute mess.”
“Nuala?” He did recognize the voice. Blind date #2. He’d spilled sauce on both of them.
“You are not very good at this, are you? Come on, this is my place. Right here.”
He was being steered before his head stopped spinning, led through a doorway and up a series of stairs. It hurt, more than he’d expected, but then she was giving him a little shove onto a chair.
“Excuse me?” Her apartment had a feel like the inside of a rug shop or the back of a flea market, everything bright colors everywhere, no doors or windows showing.
Something about the tone made him obey, peeling the remains of his khakis off. Meanwhile, Nuala vanished behind a curtain and returned a moment later with a long piece of batik cloth, a towel, and a first-aid kit.
She handed him the cloth. “For your modesty. Don’t cover anything that’s cut up.”
He blinked at her, covered up his underwear and upper thighs. “You don’t have to…”
“You spilled sauce on me. Your date two after me, you caught the tablecloth and spilled dinner everywhere. The one right before me, you ran into a glass window. You need a minder.”
“I don’t need a minder, I just—”
“It’s that or glasses.”
“… Okay, maybe I need a minder.” He was not getting glasses. “But you ended our date early.”
“Yeah, and then I thought about things. And when it turned out I lived only a couple blocks from you, I thought about it more. This is going to sting; hold still.” She started cleaning out his knees with a careful precision and no concern for the pain, regardless of the warning. Ravi, much to his own surprise, did his best to hold still.
“So, when you say I need a minder…”
“Well, you’re obviously not finding a girlfriend on your own. So I figure, you stay here tonight, heal up, and then you come by in the evenings, and we work out how to keep you un-injured and in un-stained clothes.”
“You’re offering to — ow! To, what, run my life for me?” He thought maybe he ought to be alarmed.
“I think it’s more like I’m telling you that I’m going to run your life. Trial run, one month. And then if it works, you move in with me, and I keep you out of spills and ——” she did something painful to his knee that seemed like it was probably helping “-un-bloody.”
“What are you going to do?” he muttered, “tie me down for my own good?”
“I have to admit…” She smiled up at him with a sharp and predatory expression that made him shiver in interesting ways. “I’m considering it.”